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Blues in the Park: Poetry, Humour, and Jazz Songs to Mark 20 Years of Oxford Literary Festival

Sunday 10 April 2016

2 Hours


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£12 - £25

Ticket price

Join actress Maureen Lipman, poet Jeremy Robson, and acclaimed jazz singer Jacqui Dankworth for an unmissable evening of poetry, wit and music to climax this year’s events and mark 20 years of Oxford Literary Festival.

For this special event, Dankworth will be joined by her husband, the acclaimed pianist-vocalist Charlie Wood, saxophonist Julian Siegel and bassist Oli Hayhurst.
Lipman will join Robson in reading some of Robson’s poems and will also read some of her own brilliantly witty monologues (and perhaps a taste too of her popular Joyce Grenfell show). Dankworth and Wood will sing duets of classic songs of the last 100 years inspired by great musical partnerships and composers.

A well-known poet and publisher, Robson initiated and participated in the highly popular Poetry and Jazz in Concert events that featured many leading poets and musicians. Described by The Times as ‘a champion of poetry’, Robson’s latest moving and often witty collection, Blues In the Park (published in 2014 and recently issued in paperback), was described by Lipman as ‘a marvellous wry observation of the sweet, sour, and savoury in life’. Bel Mooney wrote in the Daily Mail: “My test when reading a new book of poems is to stick a Post-it note wherever there is a poem I want to go back to. They sprout like a small forest from Blues in the Park’. He will include some new poems in tonight’s event.

Olivier-award-winning actress Lipman recently starred in the West End production of Harvey.  This autumn she appeared on television as co-presenter with Larry Lamb of Channel 4’s Disappearing Britain. She writes regularly for Standpoint and Spectator Health. Lipman is versatile, witty, and greatly loved and she has played many leading theatrical and television roles, as well as being the author of a number of bestselling books.

Dankworth is one of the UK’s most highly regarded vocalists in the UK. Her concert appearances and her stylistically diverse recordings showcase her effortless mastery of a wide spectrum of genres. Known primarily as a jazz singer, Dankworth also draws on soul and blues influences.

Wood is an American singer/songwriter and pianist whose eclectic musical style incorporates elements of jazz, blues, traditional R&B and popular music. Wood continues touring and recording regularly throughout the UK and Europe.

Siegel is one of the most highly sought-after saxophonists on the European jazz scene and has worked with many of the top figures in music. He was awarded the 2007 BBC Jazz Award for Best Instrumentalist and his quart CD Urban Theme Park received widespread critical acclaim, winning the London Jazz Award.
Hayhurst, a brilliant and award-winning bassist, has also performed and recorded with a long and diverse list of famous artists.

This event lasts two hours including a 30-minute interval.